Let’s face it, many times, it’s the parents who are the only ones ready for that special time of year – back to school time! After months of “freedom” waking those groggy eyed kids, every morning, is a challenge; excite them with some of these back-to-school ideas, which will make your life easier, too.
Nothing makes a mom happier than seeing her kid munch on, and love, some healthy snacks! We all know it’s easier to pop some frozen goodies in the microwave, but with some thinking ahead and meal-prep, you can have them ready before the school week even starts!
Popcorn bags- Ditch the microwave version, and bring out your large skillet for popping! Throw in some dried fruit, nuts, or even little dark-chocolate candies, and it’s sure to be a hit! Once they are cool, portion them out into snack-size baggies for easy after-school snack grabbing.
Build your own creations – Dedicate one area in your fridge to some after-school goodies. Here, put an array of sliced veggies (think tomatoes, lettuce, red peppers), lunch meats (with no nitrates), and cheese – the kids can go crazy building their own sandwich-stack creations, with or without bread!
Fruit kabobs, anyone? – This one’s a fun one! Get out some kabob sticks and adorn them with various pieces of fresh fruit. This one is great cause you can add what they like, and keep out what they don’t! For a fun twist, add a few marshmallows, to ensure they’ll grab these after school.
Quench their thirst – It’s easy for kids to grab sugary drinks; however, infused water can do they trick, too! In a pitcher of water, add some oranges or strawberries – lemon or lime – whatever floats your boat, and theirs. Grab some silly straws to make it even more fun!
Lunches to Wow!
We’ve covered their after-school hunger issues; but, those mid-day growth spurts need their nourishment, as well. Luckily for moms (and dads) the Bento Box is a trend that we can all agree makes the school lunch a lot more fun!
Bento to go – The idea of the Bento Box is to eliminate the need for plastic bags. The box is divided into several compartments, making packing and presentation a breeze. The ways to get creative are endless, but here are a few to help start off your year!
Combination 1 – Lunch meat roll ups (non-nitrate meat, cheese, and lettuce, no bread), cucumber slices, whole strawberries, and blueberries.
Combination 2 – Two or three hard boiled eggs, a whole wheat wrap with your meat and cheese of choice, blueberries, and cucumber slices.
Combination 3 – Carrot sticks, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, hummus, pita bread and salami.
Combination 4 – Cubed grilled chicken, snap peas, mandarin orange, black beans, and whole wheat pasta.
Combination 5 – Sliced apples and cinnamon, broccoli and ranch dip, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and popcorn
Back to School Safety
It seems like parents number one job is to worry. Let’s send them off into the world, prepared, with these safety tips:
Backpack Safety It’s important to make sure that their load isn’t overloading them! A good backpack is never wider or longer than your child’s torso and never hanging more than 4 inches below the waist, had padded shoulder straps, hip and chest belts, several compartments to help even weight, and a reflective material, especially if your child walks home from school. Also, although embroidering their names on their backpacks are cute, it allows dangerous strangers to call them out by name or learn their identity easier.
Safe bus rides Teach your kids bus safety, with these helpful tips. When waiting for the bus, make sure they have a dedicated, easily seen area, every day. Teach them that it is important to wait far-back off the road, and to not run or horse around near the street. Although the driver should be keeping them in-check while on the ride, you should let them know that it is good to be respectful of the driver by always sitting, being quiet, and keeping the aisles clear. It’s never good to distract a driver! Most important, if your child has to cross the street to board or un-board, if you can meet them at the stop, make sure all traffic is clear or walk with them. If you’re unable to do this, make sure the driver is watching the traffic and giving your kids a clear to cross, before they start. They should always walk at least 10-feet in front of the bus, and stay away from the buses wheels.
Bullying stope here With the social media bullying trend, it’s important to talk to your kids, before others do. Let them know it’s never okay to allow bullying to happen. If they are an object to this horrible behavior, let them know it is okay to speak up! Also, teach them that if they see it going on with a friend or school mate, that it’s important to let that be known, as well.
Family safe list Having a family sit down to make house rules, is a great way to start the school year off safe! Establish a list for scenarios which your kids will find themselves in. For example, if you child has to walk or ride their bike to school, let them know they always have to use the sidewalk, or wear a helmet. If they attend after-school programs, make a list of appropriate behavior.
Bring back the safe word!
We all remember that word when we were kids. Today, with texting and social media, we can bring the word to the virtual world. If your kids find themselves in a dangerous situation, let them know to text you a word that has special meaning of danger, to just you. Many phones will have tracking devices, which will be a great first step to finding them if they are even in danger.
Making Bed-time a Breeze
With distractions all around, bedtime seems to becoming harder and harder, each year! Luckily, living in Florida we have one thing on our side – the sunshine! Set a timer, for at least 30 minutes, every day after school and get the kids outside. If you can, join them in the fun, and take a family walk, swim – or even basketball game. Soak up that Vitamin D, and make some fun family memories, while at it.
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